TWO of the 20th century’s most influential Catholic leaders, Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, will be declared saints on April 27 next year.
Pope Francis announced the date during a meeting with cardinals inside the Apostolic Palace today.
Francis announced in July that he would canonise the popes together, approving a miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession and bending Vatican rules by deciding that John XXIII did not need one.
Analysts said the decision to canonise them together was aimed at unifying the church, since each has his own admirers and critics.
Francis is clearly a fan of both: on the anniversary of John Paul’s death this year, he prayed at the tombs of both men - an indication that he sees a great personal and spiritual continuity in them.